Radio 4 ,Smarming toady
james36army at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 14 13:10:46 BST 2008
Mr Nicholas Kroll, Director, BBC Trust.
(please forward this with my complaint of 5th August- your letter of 4th September refers)
Saturday 13th September 08
The UK agriculture industry is fractured. After measuring the output and the amount of government subsidy, one critic describes European agriculture in total as 'the most uncompetitive industry on the planet.'
The BBC 'Farming Today' programme does not register this, and neither in the person of the interviewers, nor by the contents of its programmes, nor by the people interviewed is BBC able to address or communicate it. 'Farming Today is therefore unable to contribute to the solution.
If it is argued that this is not the role of the BBC then neither is it the role of a publicly funded broadcasting corporation with immense powers of attitude-forming to perpetuate an inequitable, monopolistic drain on the public purse, with its destructive effects on the landscape, employment, food prices, spiraling land prices, dangers to public health to the disadvantage of third world food producers.
Silence is complicity.
The reality of this industry, its gigantism, anti-social corporate interests, public finance, its link with monopoly landownership, its undemocratic political influence in the lobbies of Brussels and Westminster, are missed by the BBC and therefore by the listener.
A campaign of misinformation by the industry has achieved widespread ignorance of how CAP taxes the generality who are not bulk land owners to support landowners and this exclusive system, and enhances the fortunes of a tiny minority who are land thousandacre-aires and £millionaires and so distorts agriculture.
The issues are clearly complex but I could recommend Kevin Cahill's books Who Owns Britain? and Who Owns the World? , for an exposition and the magazine "The Land" for a critical and constructive viewpoint on British agricultural and related land , planning and housing issues.
Giving airtime to 2,000 ten-acre smallholders would balance the views of the one 20,000acre 'farmer' interviewed to-day on FTTW. This might be difficult but hearing from just one or two small holders or low impact farmers regularly on FT and less from NFU would be a start.
Why is there a need to write this letter?
The apparent total blindness of the BBC to these issues suggests either a lack of understanding of the industry, or capture and total subservience by BBC to the corporate agriculture industry interest.
I have previously drawn attention to the inordinate reliance by FT and the regular and disproportionate contributions to FT by NFU. This week it was the turn of the NFU chief economist to give her views.
The FT interviewers consistently fail to challenge this corporate interest and in their presence sound like primary school children under tutelege.
Which other trade union with a much larger membership is given so much airtime and such deferential reception ?
Can I please have a detailed reply to these points, but much more importantly could BBC please
live up to the aspiration of Mr Kroll , (letter of 4th September)
'the impartiality of the BBC is non-negotiable"
James Armstrong, Dorchester
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